Style Louis XV / Ref.17392
Henri HOUDEBINE and DEMAY « Cherubs on the hunt » Pair of candelabras presented at the Universal Exhibition of 1855
Width: 26'' ⅜ 67cm
Height: 32'' ¼ 82cm
Depth: 10'' ¼ 26cm
Signatures: « Hi. Houdebine et von Blumberg – Paris 1855 Exp. Universelle » and « Demay sculp. »
Excellent condition. No restauration. Original gilt.
Gilt bronze Size: Height, 82 cm; Width, 67 cm; Depth, 26 cm
A rare surviving example from the Universal Exhibition of 1855, this pair of candelabras is signed by Henri Houdebine, Von Blumberg, as well as the sculptor Demay. On one of these, a militant-looking youth threatens an angry beast with his spear while holding him down under his foot. On the other, a young girl has captured a bound stag that lies at her feet. The sweet features of the feminine figure counterbalance the determined expression of the cherub on the other piece that was conceived as its pendant. Both candelabras sit on bases made in the style typical of the Louis XV period, a style that enjoyed a renewed interest at the beginning of the Second Empire (see Louis XV style ). The lively movement of the scrollwork allowed the maker to display his virtuoso technique in the execution of the casting and the chasing that highlight the different qualities of the bronze, sometimes finished in matt gold and sometimes burnished.
In the 19th century, Henri Houdebine was well known for his work that catered to the contemporary taste for reinterpreting older styles. This pair of candelabras, dated 1855 and presented at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, is an exceptional example of the early production of the Houdebine factory. Founded in Paris, in 1845, the company participated in most of the exhibitions that took place during the second half of the 19th century and won numerous awards: Gold Medal in 1876 (Exhibition of the Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs) and 1878 (Universal Exhibition), Medal of Recognition in 1880 (Exposition de l’UCAD), Honorary Degree in 1883 (Amsterdam International Exhibition) the same year that Henri Houdebine was made chevalier in the Legion of Honor. A member of the Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs, he was yet again singled out for the beauty of these candelabras at the Universal Exhibition of 1889.
The sculptor Demay also signed this model; this may have been Germain Demay, the student of Barye who showed works depicting small animals in the Salons of 1844 and 1848, most notably a jaguar, a panther and a stag.
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